During last week’s Community Board 15 meeting, Councilman Lew Fidler took an impassioned stance against a proposal to reduce costs for gun permits by three-quarters or more.

“I’ve been in the Council for nine years,” said Fidler. “I don’t think the mayor of the City of New York has asked the City Council to reduce a fee for anything in nine years, and I’ll be damned if the message that I’m going to send is that the one fee I’m going to cut is so that people can own guns.”

Fidler was speaking in advance of a City Council vote requested by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is pushing a bill that would cut the $340 price for original or renewal applications to between $25 and $110, depending on the type of permit. The mayor has made gun control one of his signature issues, but is now requesting the reduction in response to Supreme Court rulings against other states whose high permit fees were seen as infringements on the Second Amendment.

Ultimately, the vote scheduled for October 27 was not moved forward because of widespread opposition, but Councilman Fidler told Sheepshead Bites that it remains a possibility for the future.

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  • Bugg

    Based on Heller and other Supreme Court cases, the City’s attempt to subvert the 2nd Amendment is going to fail. Bloomberg is also faced with rising crime and several recent murders involving livery cab drivers and bodega workers. These aren’t wealthy people, and they are the backbone of the city’s economy.Theya re entitled to defend themselves from criminals. To put a high cost on a constitutional right is akin to a poll tax on minority voters.

    Councilman Fidler is well-intentioned, but if he or anyone can point to a case in NYC of a registered firearm being used in a crime, the floor is theirs. Suspect it will be silent. The crimes committed with guns in this city are not by license holders, but by people who breaking the law altogether.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      Sure, I think its just wonderful to turn NYC into Dodge City. There are a lot of people who just shouldn’t have guns. Ownership of one doesn’t mean that one is able to actually use it when it is needed. And one better be prepared to use it, and properly so if they produce it in the course of self-defense. Otherwise the result could be catastrophic.

      • Torgo1968

        It is astounding that with decades of evidence, we are still hearing the tired “Dodge City” cliche. The facts are these:
        *In the last two decades, we have gone from fewer than two dozen states that made it easy to get concealed weapons permits to over forty.
        *In the last two years, the economy has been terrible and gun sales and permit applications have skyrocketed nationally.
        *Despite all of that, violent crime, including gun crime, has plummeted.

        There is insufficient evidence to say that more guns caused the drop in crime. However, it should be clear to any sane person that simply making more guns available will not lead to “Dodge City” or blood running in the streets.

    • levp

      The fee for permits would likely pass the constitutional test since its not discriminatory and prohibitive. Just other permit fees, such as car registration, custom plates, driver license, etc.

      • Aardvark

        You have no right to a car, custom plates or drivers license. There is nothing I see in the Constitution that says so. However, the Supreme Court has determined that the Second Amendment is a fundamental right just like freedom of religion, press, voting and speech, to name a few. Nowhere do I know of a case where you need a fee based permit to exercise any of those rights. Therefore, you will have a hard time justifying fees in order to exercise a fundamental right. If it does in fact pass constitutional muster at some future date, I would certainly expect to see permits and fees required at some future date in order vote, purchase a newspaper and attend religious services. There would be no reason not to.

        • levp

          We will have to see, as undoubtedly this will be litigated.

          From “High Court Extends Gun Owners’ Rights Nationwide”:
          http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128172317

          “But even the National Rifle Association’s advocate, Paul Clement, conceded that the court had provided little guidance for the lower courts to use in evaluating which regulations are permissible and which are not. “In fairness, I don’t think they did,” Clement said.

          New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly agreed, saying, “There’s going to be litigation, no question about it, that is probably spurred by this decision. And it’ll all have to do with the reasonableness of existing regulation.”

  • Bugg

    Again, when you have a crime wave involving licensed gun owners, let us know; it will be a first.In fact, some of the most armed states out west and south llike Montana and Wyoming jhave the lowest crime rates. The people using guns in crimes don’t care a wit about gun laws. It’s one more law they will break.

  • Bugg

    Again, when you have a crime wave involving licensed gun owners, let us know; it will be a first.In fact, some of the most armed states out west and south llike Montana and Wyoming jhave the lowest crime rates. The people using guns in crimes don’t care a wit about gun laws. It’s one more law they will break.

  • j.p.zenger

    As much as I like Lew, I have owned rifles, rifles in the past. I don’t know when I went to check out the cost of current rifle ownership I was shocked and dismayed that what I thought was a act by the Gestapo Rudy Guliani, Guliani threw out the constitution so that he could have his way. I found the price outrageous. When I called the shooting ranges, their policies had also changed. Instead of their old practice of paying per session, they changed to membership and that was prohibitive. I will not vote for Lew again. He has castrated the essence of the to that amendment.

    I consider that equal to a poll tax. Also illegal

    • levp

      I think loving guns and gun-related sports does not require turning New York City streets into a shooting range.

      In the former Soviet Union, my father was a district (“borough”) champion in small-caliber rifle shooting (25 and 50 m) for many years (until his vision declined).
      Also, we had mandatory military training in high schools that included shooting, weapon maintenance as well as weapon and ammunition safety (I had a “B” and my wife had an “A”). For example, my favorite test was partial disassembly/assembly of AK-47 (normal time about 20 sec).
      There were small ranges (mostly equipped with pneumatic rifles) in every neighborhood (equivalent of $0.05 for 3 shots, if I remember correctly).

      And yet, to say weapons of any kind were regulated would be a huge understatement – private ownership of such was simply prohibited (with exceptions made for collectors, veterans and retired law enforcement, all with strict registration).

      Of course, I’m not arguing for prohibition here. Moreover, I am all for going to Pennsylvania and shooting all kinds of things (I did just that myself) – just not in NYC. I agree with Justice Scalia (!!) in that in some settings there should be “reasonable regulations” – and I think the City of New York is just such a setting (the last thing GB residents should have is more guns).

  • Bugg

    Would note in the one day since this was posted, neither Councilman Fidler nor anyone else has posted any information about a registered gun being used in any crime. Again, criminals using guns don’t care about laws. No one has provide any example of a duly-licensing gun owner using it in the commission of a crime.

    Guns should be regulated and owners should be required to be licensed and trained at their own expense. But raising a fee to an extraordinary level on constitutional right is wrong and illegal.And Commissioner Kelly and his boss, the whiny lisping elitist Mayor, know damn well their labrynth of a licensing process intentionally and unconstitutionally deprives law-abiding citizens from owning guns.NYPD is right now violating “Heller” and forcing gun owners to litigate it. Back to fudging the numbers, Kelly. Would love to know how they will hide the felony assaults and felony mischiefs in Gerritsen Beach on Halloween.

    • levp

      Let me try.
      Just a quick search within last few years:

      Close to home, in Hopatcong, NJ (and I have close friends who live there):
      http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/08/hopatcong_man_charged_with_mur.html
      “Tedesco is accused of shooting 22-year-old Alyssa Ruggieri six times at close range inside the front door of her parents’ home on Durban Avenue in Hopatcong with a .25-caliber handgun that was registered to him.”

      Further away, in Montreal, QC:
      http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2006/09/15/aftermath-shooting.html
      “Gill, 25, from Fabreville killed a woman before taking his own life during a shootout with police in the atrium at Montreal’s Dawson College on Wednesday. Nineteen other people were injured in the rampage.
      Gill was carrying three firearms with him when he entered the college, including a semi-automatic Beretta rifle and a .45-calibre handgun. All three weapons are legal and were registered in his name, Montreal police said.”

      In Cumbria, England:
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jun/03/derrick-bird-licensed-gun-holder
      “Cumbria police confirmed today that Derrick Bird, who went on the rampage in the UK’s worst shooting incident since the Dunblane massacre, had been a licensed gun holder for 20 years.
      Twelve people were confirmed dead and three were fighting for their lives after the taxi driver went on the apparently indiscriminate shooting spree across a swath of Cumbrian countryside.”

      Given more time (and if my boss wouldn’t be insisting that I actually work), I could find enough of these examples.

      And then, even more tragically, there plenty of stories like this:
      http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/jul/13/3-year-old-girl-dies-gunshot-wound/
      “CHATTANOOGA — A 3-year-old girl was shot and killed Monday after she and her sibling gained access to a loaded gun in their parent’s bedroom, Chattanooga police said.”

      Because how will you be able to shoot an intruder in your home if the gun is locked, right?

  • emes

    Why is Mr. Fidler so opposed to the Second Amendment?

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    I’m curious how many people watched the video? The text is a summary – but not a substitute for actually viewing it and hearing Fidler’s own words, as well as his answers to questions asked by the audience (many of which echo those in the comments). Judging from the amount of “plays” the video has had, compared to the amount of actual traffic this page of the website has received – it’s not a high percentage of people watching it before commenting.

    Still, it hasn’t stopped people from rushing to judgement. This is not at all isolated to this post – I’ve noticed it with many of the videos I put up.

    Please – watch the video. He addresses questions like “How many crimes are committed with registered guns?” and explains why he believes the current laws are not in violation of the 2nd Amendment or the Heller precedent. Moreover, he details the extent to which NYC already subsidizes the cost of processing gun permits, keeping guns reasonably affordable and accessible – even if it’s not as easy to get as in other states.